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Transition Sentences | Tips & Examples for Clear Writing

Published on June 9, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

Clear transitions are crucial to clear writing: They show the reader how different parts of your essay, paper, or thesis are connected. Transition sentences can be used to structure your text and link together paragraphs or sections.

… In this case, the researchers concluded that the method was unreliable.

However , evidence from a more recent study points to a different conclusion . …

Table of contents

Transitioning between paragraphs, transitioning to a new section, transitions within a paragraph, other interesting articles.

When you start a new paragraph , the first sentence should clearly express:

  • What this paragraph will discuss
  • How it relates to the previous paragraph

The examples below show some examples of transition sentences between paragraphs and what they express.

Placement of transition sentences

The beginning of a new paragraph is generally the right place for a transition sentence. Each paragraph should focus on one topic, so avoid spending time at the end of a paragraph explaining the theme of the next one.

The first dissenter to consider is …

However, several scholars dissent from this consensus. The first one to consider is …

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While transitions between paragraphs are generally a single sentence, when you start a new section in a longer text, you may need an entire transition paragraph. Transitioning to a new section involves summarizing the content of the previous section and expressing how the new one will build upon or depart from it.

For example, the following sentences might be an effective transition for a new section in a literary analysis essay.

Having established that the subjective experience of time is one of Mann’s key concerns in The Magic Mountain , it is now possible to explore how this theme facilitates the novel’s connection with World War I. The war itself is not narrated in the book, but rather hinted at as something awaiting Castorp beyond the final pages. In this way, Mann links his protagonist’s subjective experience of time to more than just his illness; it is also used to explore the period leading up to the outbreak of war.

As in academic writing generally, aim to be as concise as you can while maintaining clarity: If you can transition to a new section clearly with a single sentence, do so, but use more when necessary.

It’s also important to use effective transitions within each paragraph you write, leading the reader through your arguments efficiently and avoiding ambiguity.

The known-new contract

The order of information within each of your sentences is important to the cohesion of your text. The known-new contract , a useful writing concept, states that a new sentence should generally begin with some reference to information from the previous sentence, and then go on to connect it to new information.

In the following example, the second sentence doesn’t follow very clearly from the first. The connection only becomes clear when we reach the end.

By reordering the information in the second sentence so that it begins with a reference to the first, we can help the reader follow our argument more smoothly.

Note that the known-new contract is just a general guideline. Not every sentence needs to be structured this way, but it’s a useful technique if you’re struggling to make your sentences cohere.

Transition words and phrases

Using appropriate transition words helps show your reader connections within and between sentences. Transition words and phrases come in four main types:

  • Additive transitions, which introduce new information or examples
  • Adversative transitions, which signal a contrast or departure from the previous text
  • Causal transitions, which are used to describe cause and effect
  • Sequential transitions, which indicate a sequence

The table below gives a few examples for each type:

Grouping similar information

While transition words and phrases are essential, and every essay will contain at least some of them, it’s also important to avoid overusing them. One way to do this is by grouping similar information together so that fewer transitions are needed.

For example, the following text uses three transition words and jumps back and forth between ideas. This makes it repetitive and difficult to follow.

Rewriting it to group similar information allows us to use just one transition, making the text more concise and readable.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Transitions

What this handout is about.

In this crazy, mixed-up world of ours, transitions glue our ideas and our essays together. This handout will introduce you to some useful transitional expressions and help you employ them effectively.

The function and importance of transitions

In both academic writing and professional writing, your goal is to convey information clearly and concisely, if not to convert the reader to your way of thinking. Transitions help you to achieve these goals by establishing logical connections between sentences, paragraphs, and sections of your papers. In other words, transitions tell readers what to do with the information you present to them. Whether single words, quick phrases, or full sentences, they function as signs that tell readers how to think about, organize, and react to old and new ideas as they read through what you have written.

Transitions signal relationships between ideas—relationships such as: “Another example coming up—stay alert!” or “Here’s an exception to my previous statement” or “Although this idea appears to be true, here’s the real story.” Basically, transitions provide the reader with directions for how to piece together your ideas into a logically coherent argument. Transitions are not just verbal decorations that embellish your paper by making it sound or read better. They are words with particular meanings that tell the reader to think and react in a particular way to your ideas. In providing the reader with these important cues, transitions help readers understand the logic of how your ideas fit together.

Signs that you might need to work on your transitions

How can you tell whether you need to work on your transitions? Here are some possible clues:

  • Your instructor has written comments like “choppy,” “jumpy,” “abrupt,” “flow,” “need signposts,” or “how is this related?” on your papers.
  • Your readers (instructors, friends, or classmates) tell you that they had trouble following your organization or train of thought.
  • You tend to write the way you think—and your brain often jumps from one idea to another pretty quickly.
  • You wrote your paper in several discrete “chunks” and then pasted them together.
  • You are working on a group paper; the draft you are working on was created by pasting pieces of several people’s writing together.

Organization

Since the clarity and effectiveness of your transitions will depend greatly on how well you have organized your paper, you may want to evaluate your paper’s organization before you work on transitions. In the margins of your draft, summarize in a word or short phrase what each paragraph is about or how it fits into your analysis as a whole. This exercise should help you to see the order of and connection between your ideas more clearly.

If after doing this exercise you find that you still have difficulty linking your ideas together in a coherent fashion, your problem may not be with transitions but with organization. For help in this area (and a more thorough explanation of the “reverse outlining” technique described in the previous paragraph), please see the Writing Center’s handout on organization .

How transitions work

The organization of your written work includes two elements: (1) the order in which you have chosen to present the different parts of your discussion or argument, and (2) the relationships you construct between these parts. Transitions cannot substitute for good organization, but they can make your organization clearer and easier to follow. Take a look at the following example:

El Pais , a Latin American country, has a new democratic government after having been a dictatorship for many years. Assume that you want to argue that El Pais is not as democratic as the conventional view would have us believe.

One way to effectively organize your argument would be to present the conventional view and then to provide the reader with your critical response to this view. So, in Paragraph A you would enumerate all the reasons that someone might consider El Pais highly democratic, while in Paragraph B you would refute these points. The transition that would establish the logical connection between these two key elements of your argument would indicate to the reader that the information in paragraph B contradicts the information in paragraph A. As a result, you might organize your argument, including the transition that links paragraph A with paragraph B, in the following manner:

Paragraph A: points that support the view that El Pais’s new government is very democratic.

Transition: Despite the previous arguments, there are many reasons to think that El Pais’s new government is not as democratic as typically believed.

Paragraph B: points that contradict the view that El Pais’s new government is very democratic.

In this case, the transition words “Despite the previous arguments,” suggest that the reader should not believe paragraph A and instead should consider the writer’s reasons for viewing El Pais’s democracy as suspect.

As the example suggests, transitions can help reinforce the underlying logic of your paper’s organization by providing the reader with essential information regarding the relationship between your ideas. In this way, transitions act as the glue that binds the components of your argument or discussion into a unified, coherent, and persuasive whole.

Types of transitions

Now that you have a general idea of how to go about developing effective transitions in your writing, let us briefly discuss the types of transitions your writing will use.

The types of transitions available to you are as diverse as the circumstances in which you need to use them. A transition can be a single word, a phrase, a sentence, or an entire paragraph. In each case, it functions the same way: First, the transition either directly summarizes the content of a preceding sentence, paragraph, or section or implies such a summary (by reminding the reader of what has come before). Then, it helps the reader anticipate or comprehend the new information that you wish to present.

  • Transitions between sections: Particularly in longer works, it may be necessary to include transitional paragraphs that summarize for the reader the information just covered and specify the relevance of this information to the discussion in the following section.
  • Transitions between paragraphs: If you have done a good job of arranging paragraphs so that the content of one leads logically to the next, the transition will highlight a relationship that already exists by summarizing the previous paragraph and suggesting something of the content of the paragraph that follows. A transition between paragraphs can be a word or two (however, for example, similarly), a phrase, or a sentence. Transitions can be at the end of the first paragraph, at the beginning of the second paragraph, or in both places.
  • Transitions within paragraphs: As with transitions between sections and paragraphs, transitions within paragraphs act as cues by helping readers to anticipate what is coming before they read it. Within paragraphs, transitions tend to be single words or short phrases.

Transitional expressions

Effectively constructing each transition often depends upon your ability to identify words or phrases that will indicate for the reader the kind of logical relationships you want to convey. The table below should make it easier for you to find these words or phrases. Whenever you have trouble finding a word, phrase, or sentence to serve as an effective transition, refer to the information in the table for assistance. Look in the left column of the table for the kind of logical relationship you are trying to express. Then look in the right column of the table for examples of words or phrases that express this logical relationship.

Keep in mind that each of these words or phrases may have a slightly different meaning. Consult a dictionary or writer’s handbook if you are unsure of the exact meaning of a word or phrase.

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Essay Writing Guide

Transition Words For Essays

Nova A.

Transition Words For Essays - The Ultimate List 2023

11 min read

Published on: Oct 30, 2017

Last updated on: Mar 17, 2023

transition words for essays

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Tired of stumbling through clunky, disjointed paragraphs? Want to elevate your writing game and captivate your readers? 

Here’s your solution! 

Today we're diving into the magic of transition words, the secret weapon of great essay writing. These power-packed words seamlessly connect your ideas and keep your readers engaged from beginning to end. 

So, grab your pen and paper, and get ready to take your writing to the next level!

What are Good Transition Words for Essays?

Transition words are used to show your readers the relationship between words, phrases, sentences, or even paragraphs.

The transition will make it easier for you to convey your ideas and thoughts in an understandable way. The additional purpose of a transitional word or phrase is to prepare the reader for what is coming.

It is important to pay attention to these words if you are writing an essay that can easily convey your ideas.

In addition to that, transition words are also important when it comes to switching from one idea to another. Without transition words, your readers can easily lose direction.

Another important thing here is moderation. Lacking or even overusing transition words and phrases can lead to a clunky and confusing piece of paper.

List of Good Transition Words for Essays

Transition words are extremely important. They not only connect thoughts and ideas but also highlights a shift, opposition or contrast, agreement or emphasis, purpose, result, etc, in the line of argument.

So, transition words are used to achieve various purposes. Other than connecting ideas better, you will be able to put your sentences together smoothly.

Therefore, below you can find some good transition words for essays in different categories.

This transition words for essays list will make it easier for you to understand what words to use in what situation.

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Transition Words for Argumentative Essays

  • To begin with
  • By contrast
  • One alternative is
  • To put more simply
  • At the same time
  • On the contrary
  • With this in mind
  • All things considered
  • As a result
  • Generally speaking
  • That is to say
  • Yet another

Conclusion Transition Words for Essays

  • In any event
  • As mentioned
  • In other words
  • As you can see

Transition Words for Persuasive Essays

  • Consequently
  • In addition
  • furthermore
  • Additionally
  • Besides that
  • In the same way
  • Pursuing this further

Transition Words for Essays PDF

List of Common Transition Words 

To help you further, here are some common transition words for essays that can be used in almost any situation. 

For Addition

  • Besides That 
  • Equally Important 
  • Furthermore
  • In Addition
  • In The Second Place

For Comparison

  • In Comparison
  • In The Same Way
  • At The Same Time
  • But At The Same Time 
  • Conversely 
  • Even So/Though 
  • On The Contrary 
  • Now That 
  • Soon   
  • Immediately
  • Afterward   

For Emphasizing

  • Primarily 
  • In Essence 
  • Indeed 
  • To Put It Another Way             
  • More Accurately                     
  • Namely  

For Repetition

  • In Other Words 
  • To Put It Another Way
  • Also  

Sequence Transition Words

  • Firstly  
  • Subsequently 
  • In The First Place 
  • To Begin With 

For Showing Exception

  • At The Same Time 
  • Nevertheless  
  • On The Other Hand 

For Proving

  • For This Reason 
  • Certainly 
  • To Demonstrate
  • In Fact 
  • Clearly 
  • As A Result

Paragraph Transition Words for Essays

  • To put it differently
  • Once and for all
  • In the meantime

Transition Words for Essay's First Body Paragraph 

  • To start with
  • In the first place
  • First and foremost
  • In the beginning

Transition Words for Essay's Second Body Paragraphs

  • Simultaneously
  • Subsequently
  • In addition to this 
  • Furthermore 

Transition Words for Essay's Last Body Paragraphs

  • In conclusion
  • Finally 
  • Last but not least 
  • To sum up 
  • Altogether 

Transition Words for Compare and Contrast Essays

  • In contrast
  • Nevertheless
  • Nonetheless
  • Notwithstanding

Transition Words for Informative Essays

  • As can be expected
  • Specifically

Transition Words for Expository Essays

  • For one thing
  • Equally important
  • Another reason
  • Not long after that
  • Looking back

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Transition Words for Cause and Effect Essays

  • In order to
  • Provided that
  • Accordingly
  • Because of this

Transition Words for Synthesis Essays

  • As noted earlier
  • This leads to
  • Another factor
  • This lead to
  • The underlying concept
  • In this respect

Transition Words for Analysis Essays

  • (once) again
  • To demonstrate

Transition Words for Quotes in Essays

  • Acknowledges

Beginning Transition Words for Essays

These are some introduction transition words for essays to start writing:

  • First of all
  • For the most part
  • On one hand

Transition Words for Essays College

Here are some college level transition words for essay:

  • Pursuing this
  • What’s more
  • In a like manner
  • In the same fashion

Transition Words for Essays Middle School

  • For instance

Transition Words for Essays High School

  • To summarize
  • On the other hand

Transition Words for College Essays

  • The next step
  • There is no doubt
  • Corresponding to
  • At first glance
  • In the long run

Do’s and Don’ts of Using Transition Words

So, now you have some strong transition words for essays at hand. But how do you use these transition words?

Here are the basic do and don’ts of using transition words for essays.

  • Understand that these terms are an important part of any  type of essay  or paper, adding to its overall flow and readability.
  • Use these words when you are presenting a new idea. For example, start a new paragraph with these phrases, followed by a comma.
  • Do not overuse transition words. It is one of the most common  essay writing problems that students end up with. It is important to only use those words required to convey your message clearly. It is good to sound smart by using these words but don’t overdo it.
  • Avoid using these words at the start and in the middle. Always try to use transition words only a few times where it is necessary to make it easy for the readers to follow the ideas.

So, now you have an extensive list of transition words. These are some of the best transition words for essays that you can add to your essays.

If your essay seems redundant because you used similar transition words, you can always have a look at this list to find some good replacements. 

So, whenever you’re writing an essay, refer back to this list and let your words flow!

If you still feel that your essay is not properly conveying your ideas, turn to our expert essay writers at MyPerfectWords.com.

If you have some write-up, our essay writing service will make it flow without changing the entire content. Or, if you wish to have an essay from scratch, we will write a paper for you!

Simply contact us and place your order now. Our writers will take care of everything to help you ace your assignment. 

Nova A. (Literature, Marketing)

Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

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Transitional Words and Phrases

One of your primary goals as a writer is to present ideas in a clear and understandable way. To help readers move through your complex ideas, you want to be intentional about how you structure your paper as a whole as well as how you form the individual paragraphs that comprise it. In order to think through the challenges of presenting your ideas articulately, logically, and in ways that seem natural to your readers, check out some of these resources: Developing a Thesis Statement , Paragraphing , and Developing Strategic Transitions: Writing that Establishes Relationships and Connections Between Ideas.

While clear writing is mostly achieved through the deliberate sequencing of your ideas across your entire paper, you can guide readers through the connections you’re making by using transitional words in individual sentences. Transitional words and phrases can create powerful links between your ideas and can help your reader understand your paper’s logic.

In what follows, we’ve included a list of frequently used transitional words and phrases that can help you establish how your various ideas relate to each other. We’ve divided these words and phrases into categories based on the common kinds of relationships writers establish between ideas.

Two recommendations: Use these transitions strategically by making sure that the word or phrase you’re choosing matches the logic of the relationship you’re emphasizing or the connection you’re making. All of these words and phrases have different meanings, nuances, and connotations, so before using a particular transitional word in your paper, be sure you understand its meaning and usage completely, and be sure that it’s the right match for your paper’s logic. Use these transitional words and phrases sparingly because if you use too many of them, your readers might feel like you are overexplaining connections that are already clear.

Categories of Transition Words and Phrases

Causation Chronology Combinations Contrast Example

Importance Location Similarity Clarification Concession

Conclusion Intensification Purpose Summary

Transitions to help establish some of the most common kinds of relationships

Causation– Connecting instigator(s) to consequence(s).

accordingly as a result and so because

consequently for that reason hence on account of

since therefore thus

Chronology– Connecting what issues in regard to when they occur.

after afterwards always at length during earlier following immediately in the meantime

later never next now once simultaneously so far sometimes

soon subsequently then this time until now when whenever while

Combinations Lists– Connecting numerous events. Part/Whole– Connecting numerous elements that make up something bigger.

additionally again also and, or, not as a result besides even more

finally first, firstly further furthermore in addition in the first place in the second place

last, lastly moreover next second, secondly, etc. too

Contrast– Connecting two things by focusing on their differences.

after all although and yet at the same time but

despite however in contrast nevertheless nonetheless notwithstanding

on the contrary on the other hand otherwise though yet

Example– Connecting a general idea to a particular instance of this idea.

as an illustration e.g., (from a Latin abbreviation for “for example”)

for example for instance specifically that is

to demonstrate to illustrate

Importance– Connecting what is critical to what is more inconsequential.

chiefly critically

foundationally most importantly

of less importance primarily

Location– Connecting elements according to where they are placed in relationship to each other.

above adjacent to below beyond

centrally here nearby neighboring on

opposite to peripherally there wherever

Similarity– Connecting to things by suggesting that they are in some way alike.

by the same token in like manner

in similar fashion here in the same way

likewise wherever

Other kinds of transitional words and phrases Clarification

i.e., (from a Latin abbreviation for “that is”) in other words

that is that is to say to clarify to explain

to put it another way to rephrase it

granted it is true

naturally of course

finally lastly

in conclusion in the end

to conclude

Intensification

in fact indeed no

of course surely to repeat

undoubtedly without doubt yes

for this purpose in order that

so that to that end

to this end

in brief in sum

in summary in short

to sum up to summarize

transition in essay

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Clear, Concise Sentences

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Reduce expletive constructions

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Avoid noun strings

Connecting Ideas Through Transitions

Using Transitional Words and Phrases

33 Transition Words and Phrases

Transitional terms give writers the opportunity to prepare readers for a new idea, connecting the previous sentence to the next one.

Many transitional words are nearly synonymous: words that broadly indicate that “this follows logically from the preceding” include accordingly, therefore, and consequently . Words that mean “in addition to” include moreover, besides, and further . Words that mean “contrary to what was just stated” include however, nevertheless , and nonetheless .

as a result : THEREFORE : CONSEQUENTLY

The executive’s flight was delayed and they accordingly arrived late.

in or by way of addition : FURTHERMORE

The mountain has many marked hiking trails; additionally, there are several unmarked trails that lead to the summit.

at a later or succeeding time : SUBSEQUENTLY, THEREAFTER

Afterward, she got a promotion.

even though : ALTHOUGH

She appeared as a guest star on the show, albeit briefly.

in spite of the fact that : even though —used when making a statement that differs from or contrasts with a statement you have just made

They are good friends, although they don't see each other very often.

in addition to what has been said : MOREOVER, FURTHERMORE

I can't go, and besides, I wouldn't go if I could.

as a result : in view of the foregoing : ACCORDINGLY

The words are often confused and are consequently misused.

in a contrasting or opposite way —used to introduce a statement that contrasts with a previous statement or presents a differing interpretation or possibility

Large objects appear to be closer. Conversely, small objects seem farther away.

used to introduce a statement that is somehow different from what has just been said

These problems are not as bad as they were. Even so, there is much more work to be done.

used as a stronger way to say "though" or "although"

I'm planning to go even though it may rain.

in addition : MOREOVER

I had some money to invest, and, further, I realized that the risk was small.

in addition to what precedes : BESIDES —used to introduce a statement that supports or adds to a previous statement

These findings seem plausible. Furthermore, several studies have confirmed them.

because of a preceding fact or premise : for this reason : THEREFORE

He was a newcomer and hence had no close friends here.

from this point on : starting now

She announced that henceforth she would be running the company.

in spite of that : on the other hand —used when you are saying something that is different from or contrasts with a previous statement

I'd like to go; however, I'd better not.

as something more : BESIDES —used for adding information to a statement

The city has the largest population in the country and in addition is a major shipping port.

all things considered : as a matter of fact —used when making a statement that adds to or strengthens a previous statement

He likes to have things his own way; indeed, he can be very stubborn.

for fear that —often used after an expression denoting fear or apprehension

He was concerned lest anyone think that he was guilty.

in addition : ALSO —often used to introduce a statement that adds to and is related to a previous statement

She is an acclaimed painter who is likewise a sculptor.

at or during the same time : in the meantime

You can set the table. Meanwhile, I'll start making dinner.

BESIDES, FURTHER : in addition to what has been said —used to introduce a statement that supports or adds to a previous statement

It probably wouldn't work. Moreover, it would be very expensive to try it.

in spite of that : HOWEVER

It was a predictable, but nevertheless funny, story.

in spite of what has just been said : NEVERTHELESS

The hike was difficult, but fun nonetheless.

without being prevented by (something) : despite—used to say that something happens or is true even though there is something that might prevent it from happening or being true

Notwithstanding their youth and inexperience, the team won the championship.

if not : or else

Finish your dinner. Otherwise, you won't get any dessert.

more correctly speaking —used to introduce a statement that corrects what you have just said

We can take the car, or rather, the van.

in spite of that —used to say that something happens or is true even though there is something that might prevent it from happening or being true

I tried again and still I failed.

by that : by that means

He signed the contract, thereby forfeiting his right to the property.

for that reason : because of that

This tablet is thin and light and therefore very convenient to carry around.

immediately after that

The committee reviewed the documents and thereupon decided to accept the proposal.

because of this or that : HENCE, CONSEQUENTLY

This detergent is highly concentrated and thus you will need to dilute it.

while on the contrary —used to make a statement that describes how two people, groups, etc., are different

Some of these species have flourished, whereas others have struggled.

NEVERTHELESS, HOWEVER —used to introduce a statement that adds something to a previous statement and usually contrasts with it in some way

It was pouring rain out, yet his clothes didn’t seem very wet.

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Common transition words and phrases.

In an effort to make our handouts more accessible, we have begun converting our PDF handouts to web pages. Download this page as a PDF: Transitions Return to Writing Studio Handouts

Transitions clarify the logic of your argument by orienting your reader as you develop ideas between sentences and paragraphs. These tools should alert readers to shifts in your argument while and also maintain the smoothness and clarity of your prose. Below, you’ll find some of the most commonly used transition categories and examples of each. Depending on the example, these suggestions may be within sentences or at the beginning of sentences.

Transitions by Category

1. addition.

Use when presenting multiple ideas that flow in the same direction, under the same heading/ idea also, another, finally, first, first of all, for one thing, furthermore, in addition, last of all, likewise, moreover, next, and, second, the third reason

2. Sequence/ Order

Use to suggest a temporal relationship between ideas; places evidence in sequence first, second (etc.), next, last, finally, first of all, concurrently, immediately, prior to, then, at that time, at this point, previously, subsequently, and then, at this time, thereafter, previously, soon, before, after, followed by, after that, next, before, after, meanwhile, formerly, finally, during

3. Contrast

Use to demonstrate differences between ideas or change in argument direction but, however, in contrast, on the other hand, on the contrary, yet, differ, difference, balanced against, differing from, variation, still, on the contrary, unlike, conversely, otherwise, on the other hand, however

4. Exception

Use to introduce an opposing idea however, whereas, on the other hand, while, instead, in spite of, yet, despite, still, nevertheless, even though, in contrast, but, but one could also say…

5. Comparison

Use to demonstrate similarities between ideas that may not be under the same subject heading or within the same paragraph like, likewise, just, in a different way / sense, whereas, like, equally, in like manner, by comparison, similar to, in the same way, alike, similarity, similarly, just as, as in a similar fashion, conversely

6. Illustration

Use to develop or clarify an idea, to introduce examples, or to show that the second idea is subordinate to the first for example, to illustrate, on this occasion, this can be seen, in this case, specifically, once, to illustrate, when/where, for instance, such as, to demonstrate, take the case of, in this case

7. Location

Use to show spatial relations next to, above, below, beneath, left, right, behind, in front, on top, within

8. Cause and Effect

Use to show that one idea causes, or results from, the idea that follows or precedes it because, therefore, so that, cause, reason, effect, thus, consequently, since, as a result, if…then, result in

9. Emphasis

Use to suggest that an idea is particularly important to your argument important to note, most of all, a significant factor, a primary concern, a key feature, remember that, pay particular attention to, a central issue, the most substantial issue, the main value, a major event, the chief factor, a distinctive quality, especially valuable, the chief outcome, a vital force, especially relevant, most noteworthy, the principal item, above all, should be noted

10. Summary or Conclusion

Use to signal that what follows is summarizing or concluding the previous ideas; in humanities papers, use these phrases sparingly. to summarize, in short, in brief, in sum, in summary, to sum up, in conclusion, to conclude, finally

Some material adapted from Cal Poly Pomona College Reading Skills Program and “ Power Tools for Technical Communication .” 

Writing Effective Sentence Transitions (Advanced)

Transitions are the rhetorical tools that clarify the logic of your argument by orienting your reader as you develop ideas between sentences and paragraphs. The ability to integrate sentence transitions into your prose, rather than simply throwing in overt transition signals like “in addition,” indicates your mastery of the material. (Note: The visibility of transitions may vary by discipline; consult with your professor to get a better sense of discipline or assignment specific expectations.)

Transition Signals

Transition signals are words or phrases that indicate the logic connecting sets of information or ideas. Signals like therefore, on the other hand, for example, because, then, and afterwards can be good transition tools at the sentence and paragraph level. When using these signals, be conscious of the real meaning of these terms; they should reflect the actual relationship between ideas.

Review Words

Review words are transition tools that link groups of sentences or whole paragraphs. They condense preceding discussion into a brief word or phrase. For example: You’ve just completed a detailed discussion about the greenhouse effect. To transition to the next topic, you could use review words like “this heat-trapping process” to refer back to the green house effect discussion. The relative ability to determine a cogent set of review words might signal your own understanding of your work; think of review words as super-short summaries of key ideas.

Preview words

Preview words condense an upcoming discussion into a brief word or phrase. For example: You’ve just explained how heat is trapped in the earth’s atmosphere. Transitioning to the theory that humans are adding to that effect, you could use preview words like “sources of additional CO2 in the atmosphere include” to point forward to that discussion.

Transition Sentences

The strongest and most sophisticated tools, transition sentences indicate the connection between the preceding and upcoming pieces of your argument. They often contain one or more of the above transition tools. For example: You’ve just discussed how much CO2 humans have added to the atmosphere. You need to transition to a discussion of the effects. A strong set of transition sentences between the two sections might sound like this:

“These large amounts of CO2 added to the atmosphere may lead to a number of disastrous consequences for residents of planet earth. The rise in global temperature that accompanies the extra CO2 can yield effects as varied as glacial melting and species extinction.”

In the first sentence, the review words are “These large amounts of CO2 added to the atmosphere”; the preview words are “number of disastrous consequences”; the transition signals are “may lead to.” The topic sentence of the next paragraph indicates the specific “disastrous consequences” you will discuss.

If you don’t see a way to write a logical, effective transition between sentences, ideas or paragraphs, this might indicate organizational problems in your essay; you might consider revising your work.

Some material adapted from Cal Poly Pomona College Reading Skills Program  and “ Power Tools for Technical Communication .”

Last revised: 07/2008 | Adapted for web delivery: 05/2021

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Writing Transitions

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A discussion of transition strategies and specific transitional devices.

Good transitions can connect paragraphs and turn disconnected writing into a unified whole. Instead of treating paragraphs as separate ideas, transitions can help readers understand how paragraphs work together, reference one another, and build to a larger point. The key to producing good transitions is highlighting connections between corresponding paragraphs. By referencing in one paragraph the relevant material from previous paragraphs, writers can develop important points for their readers.

It is a good idea to continue one paragraph where another leaves off. (Instances where this is especially challenging may suggest that the paragraphs don't belong together at all.) Picking up key phrases from the previous paragraph and highlighting them in the next can create an obvious progression for readers. Many times, it only takes a few words to draw these connections. Instead of writing transitions that could connect any paragraph to any other paragraph, write a transition that could only connect one specific paragraph to another specific paragraph.

English Language

Transition Words

As a "part of speech" transition words are used to link words, phrases or sentences. They help the reader to progress from one idea (expressed by the author) to the next idea. Thus, they help to build up coherent relationships within the text.

Transitional Words

This structured list of commonly used English transition words — approximately 200, can be considered as quasi complete. It can be used (by students and teachers alike) to find the right expression. English transition words are essential, since they not only connect ideas, but also can introduce a certain shift, contrast or opposition, emphasis or agreement, purpose, result or conclusion, etc. in the line of argument. The transition words and phrases have been assigned only once to somewhat artificial categories, although some words belong to more than one category.

There is some overlapping with prepositions and postpositions, but for the purpose of usage and completeness of this concise guide, I did not differentiate.

Linking & Connecting Words — Part 1/2

Agreement / Addition / Similarity

Opposition / limitation / contradiction, examples / support / emphasis, cause / condition / purpose, effect / consequence / result, conclusion / summary / restatement, time / chronology / sequence, space / location / place.

The transition words like also, in addition, and, likewise , add information , reinforce ideas , and express agreement with preceding material.

in the first place

not only ... but also

as a matter of fact

in like manner

in addition

coupled with

in the same fashion / way

first, second, third

in the light of

not to mention

to say nothing of

equally important

by the same token

identically

together with

comparatively

correspondingly

furthermore

additionally

Transition phrases like but , rather and or , express that there is evidence to the contrary or point out alternatives , and thus introduce a change the line of reasoning ( contrast ).

although this may be true

in contrast

different from

of course ..., but

on the other hand

on the contrary

at the same time

in spite of

even so / though

be that as it may

(and) still

even though

nevertheless

nonetheless

notwithstanding

These transitional phrases present specific conditions or intentions .

in the event that

granted (that)

as / so long as

on (the) condition (that)

for the purpose of

with this intention

with this in mind

in the hope that

to the end that

for fear that

in order to

seeing / being that

provided that

only / even if

inasmuch as

These transitional devices (like especially ) are used to introduce examples as support , to indicate importance or as an illustration so that an idea is cued to the reader.

in other words

to put it differently

for one thing

as an illustration

in this case

for this reason

to put it another way

that is to say

with attention to

by all means

important to realize

another key point

first thing to remember

most compelling evidence

must be remembered

point often overlooked

to point out

on the positive side

on the negative side

specifically

surprisingly

significantly

particularly

in particular

for example

for instance

to demonstrate

to emphasize

to enumerate

Some of these transition words ( thus, then, accordingly, consequently, therefore, henceforth ) are time words that are used to show that after a particular time there was a consequence or an effect .

Note that for and because are placed before the cause/reason. The other devices are placed before the consequences or effects.

as a result

under those circumstances

in that case

because the

consequently

accordingly

These transition words and phrases conclude , summarize and / or restate ideas, or indicate a final general statement . Also some words (like therefore ) from the Effect / Consequence category can be used to summarize.

as can be seen

generally speaking

in the final analysis

all things considered

as shown above

in the long run

given these points

as has been noted

for the most part

in conclusion

to summarize

by and large

on the whole

in any event

in either case

These transitional words (like finally ) have the function of limiting, restricting, and defining time . They can be used either alone or as part of adverbial expressions .

at the present time

from time to time

sooner or later

up to the present time

to begin with

in due time

in the meantime

in a moment

without delay

all of a sudden

at this instant

first, second

immediately

straightaway

by the time

occasionally

Many transition words in the time category ( consequently; first, second, third; further; hence; henceforth; since; then, when; and whenever ) have other uses.

Except for the numbers ( first, second, third ) and further they add a meaning of time in expressing conditions, qualifications, or reasons. The numbers are also used to add information or list examples . Further is also used to indicate added space as well as added time.

These transition words are often used as part of adverbial expressions and have the function to restrict, limit or qualify space . Quite a few of these are also found in the Time category and can be used to describe spatial order or spatial reference.

in the middle

to the left/right

in front of

on this side

in the distance

here and there

in the foreground

in the background

in the center of

adjacent to

opposite to 

List of Transition Words

Transition Words & Phrases

Transition Words are also sometimes called (or put in the category of) Connecting Words. Please feel free to download them via this link to the category page: Linking Words & Connecting Words as a PDF. It contains all the transition words listed on this site. The image to the left gives you an impression how it looks like.

Usage of Transition Words in Essays

Transition words and phrases are vital devices for essays , papers or other literary compositions. They improve the connections and transitions between sentences and paragraphs. They thus give the text a logical organization and structure (see also: a List of Synonyms ).

All English transition words and phrases (sometimes also called 'conjunctive adverbs') do the same work as coordinating conjunctions : they connect two words, phrases or clauses together and thus the text is easier to read and the coherence is improved.

Usage: transition words are used with a special rule for punctuation : a semicolon or a period is used after the first 'sentence', and a comma is almost always used to set off the transition word from the second 'sentence'.

Example 1: People use 43 muscles when they frown; however, they use only 28 muscles when they smile.

Example 2: however, transition words can also be placed at the beginning of a new paragraph or sentence - not only to indicate a step forward in the reasoning, but also to relate the new material to the preceding thoughts..

Use a semicolon to connect sentences, only if the group of words on either side of the semicolon is a complete sentence each (both must have a subject and a verb, and could thus stand alone as a complete thought).

Further helpful readings about expressions, writing and grammar: Compilation of Writing Tips How to write good   ¦   Correct Spelling Study by an English University

Are you using WORD for writing professional texts and essays? There are many easy Windows Shortcuts available which work (almost) system-wide (e.g. in every programm you use).

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Transitions

Transitions between paragraphs.

While within-paragraph transitions serve the purpose of alerting readers of upcoming shifts in perspective or voice , between-paragraph transitions serve the unique purpose of alerting readers of upcoming shifts in argument or idea . Because one of the core rules of effective paragraph-writing is limiting each paragraph to only one controlling idea (see the Basic Paragraph Resource Center lesson), shifts in argument or idea only tend to happen between paragraphs within the academic essay.

There are literally dozens of transition words to choose from when shifting focus from one idea to another. There are transition words that show cause and effect, contrast, similarity, emphasis, and even sequence. To give you a general idea of the options available to you, below are examples of just a few of those categories and word combinations:

This is a table of Transition Words in English. Transition Words of Emphasis: undoubtedly, unquestionably, obviously, especially, clearly, importantly, absolutely, definitely, without a doubt, indeed, and it should be noted. Transition Words of Addition: along with, apart from this, moreover, furthermore, also, too, as well as that, besides, in addition. Transition Words of Contrast: unlike, nevertheless, on the other hand, nonetheless, contrary to, whereas, alternatively, conversely, even so, differing from. Transition Words of Order: following, at this time, previously, finally, subsequently, above all, before.

With so many available options, you may be wondering how you will ever be able to figure out which word or set of words would work best where.

Guiding Questions

While there are many approaches you could take, let’s take a look at a few basic guiding questions you should be asking yourself as you look over your own essay and create your own between-paragraph transitions:

  • What is the purpose of this paragraph? Is it to introduce, inform, persuade, address an opposing viewpoint, revisit or add emphasis to already discussed ideas?
  • Does the idea I’m sharing in this paragraph relate to or support any other idea or argument shared within the essay up to this point?
  • Does the idea I’m sharing in this paragraph present a different viewpoint or idea?
  • Is the idea I’m sharing separate from or dependent upon other ideas being shared within the essay?

Your answer to these four basic questions should help you more easily identify which categories of transition words might work best at the beginning of each of your paragraphs.

A Couple Tips to Get Started

Selecting proper transitions takes time and practice. To get you started on the right foot though, here are a couple tips to point you in the right direction:

  • Your body paragraphs would likely benefit most from the Addition and Order transition word categories as they tend to string together related or culminating ideas or arguments
  • Your concluding paragraph would likely benefit most from the Emphasis word category as one of its primary objectives is to revisit and re-emphasize major ideas presented in the essay

To see the power of an appropriately-used transition in action, let’s consider the following prompt question example. Imagine you were asked to write an essay based on the following prompt:

  • Do you believe that people have a specific “calling” in life? Why or why not?

A possible thesis statement (or answer to that prompt question) might be::

  • My spiritual study, secular study, and my own life experience has taught me that life callings tend to emerge not just once, but perhaps even multiple times, at crossway of spiritual gifts and need in the world.

Ponder and Record

  • Based on the thesis statement above, how many body paragraphs do you think this essay will need to have?
  • What controlling ideas (or arguments) might each body paragraph be engaging?
  • Are these arguments in any way related to each other or building on each other?
  • How might these body paragraphs benefit from transition words in the Addition or Order categories?

Body Paragraph Transitions

In answering the questions above, you likely realized that three body paragraphs will be required in this essay based on its current thesis statement. One body paragraph will focus on “spiritual” findings, another on “secular,” and then finally one supported by “personal experience.”

You also likely realized that the Addition transition word category cannot be applied to the first body paragraph as no arguments have been made yet that can be added to. This means that the first body paragraph would likely benefit most from a transition word selected from the Order category. An example of this in application might look like the following:

Body Paragraph #1 Topic Sentence

Above all, my spiritual study of the scriptures as well as the words of latter-day prophets have supported my belief that life callings emerge at the intersection of spiritual gifts and need in the world.

  • What does the selection of the transitional phrase “above all” suggest about the controlling idea that will be discussed in this paragraph?
  • What does it suggest about the ideas that will follow in subsequent paragraphs?

To see more “between-paragraph” transition words in action, let’s look at what the next body paragraph topic sentence might look like with the added benefit of transition words:

Body Paragraph #2 Topic Sentence

In addition to my spiritual study, my secular study of the “life calling” also supports this idea that life callings emerge again and again at the intersection of spiritual gifts and need in the world.

  • What is the transitional phrase used in the topic sentence above?
  • Which list is the transitional phrase “in addition” drawn from?
  • What purpose does it serve in this paragraph? How does it add value?

To really emphasize the value-add of between-paragraph transitions, let’s look at one final body paragraph example:

Body Paragraph #3 Topic Sentence

Finally, my own life experience has taught me that the concept of the “life calling” truly does lie at the intersection of gifts and need in the world.

  • Which list is the transitional phrase “finally” drawn from?

Concluding Paragraph

As mentioned above, the category of transition words that would most benefit your concluding paragraph is Emphasis . Since one of the main purposes of the concluding paragraph is to revisit ideas shared within the essay, transition words that express emphasis would be a natural fit and value-add. To see the power of this addition, feel free to examine the example below:

Concluding Paragraph Example

Without a doubt, I have come to realize over the years that a life calling is so much more than simply acting on a single moment in time— it is developing gifts and talents and constantly reassessing what value-add those gifts and talents can bring to the world at that particular moment.

  • What transitional phrase is used in the above concluding paragraph topic sentence?
  • How does the addition of “without a doubt” add emphasis to the conclusion? How does its addition help fulfill one of the concluding paragraph’s primary purposes?

Within-paragraph and between-paragraph transitions are truly the best ways to alert readers to upcoming changes in perspective and voice as well as argument or idea. As you write and then review your own writing, really try to consider which transition words would best help you create the most powerful and organized experience for your readers.

  • How it works

How to Use Transitions in an Essay

Published by Alaxendra Bets at August 18th, 2021 , Revised On August 22, 2023

Not sure how to use transition words for essays? Unable to figure out where you can place transition words within an essay? Here is all you need to know about transitions in an  essay .

We overlook the importance of transitions in an essay. While the essayists themselves can see all the connections between the  topic ,  paragraphs ,  topic sentences ,  introduction ,  main body,  and  conclusion , it’s usually not the case for the readers who generally struggle to figure out how it all fits together, particularly if no transition words or sentences are used.

So if you are worried about your readers being unable to see the relationships and connections that may seem obvious to you, then you might want to learn to use transitions in academic writing.

Remember that it is vitally important to see your writing from the readers’ perspective to  achieve the grade you have worked so hard for .

A clear understanding of the connection in an essay is of utmost importance, but to do so, you will need to relate what you are saying to what you have already said previously.

Here are some techniques to enable you to get your readers to follow your design of writing.

The Known-new Contract Technique

One common way to help your readers establish connections is to make use of the known-new contract technique. This method takes into consideration both cohesion between  sentences  and agreement of topic matter.

With the known-new contract, you will need to think through the sequence of information in a sentence, which you can achieve by following the below three rules;

  • Start each new sentence by mentioning the information that the preceding sentence ended with.
  • Each sentence should end by reflecting on a new piece of information.
  • Avoid starting sentences with new information.

If you can expertly incorporate this technique in your writing, your readers will undoubtedly understand any new piece of information with familiarity with the context.

With this writing style, you will link new information with old information without additional effort.

Can you see the use of a known-new contract in the below paragraph?

Each sentence in your essay should begin with information that the previous sentence ended by reflecting on a new piece of information.

If you can expertly and consistently integrate new information with old information, your readers will undoubtedly understand any new information with familiarity with the context.

As you can see in the above example, the second sentence starts concerning the first sentence’s information. So the readers can easily understand the relationship between the two sentences.

However, if the two sentences do not have the same topic matter, the cohesion between them will break, which will result in the two sentences appearing detached and unrelated.

Use of Transition Words and Phrases 

The known-new contract ensures the most natural and effective transitions in an essay. However, if the known-new contract doesn’t seem to work for you, there are other ways to achieve an effective transition between sentences and  paragraphs , such as the use of transition words and phrases.

There are four significant types of transitions words and phrases;

  • Signposting phrases such as first of all, for instance, in this example, etc.
  • Conjunctive adverbs such as moreover, instead, thus, however, furthermore, etc.
  • Relative pronouns such as that, who, who, whomever, whoever, when, what, etc.
  • Subordinating conjunctions such as since, unless, when, until, so that, and so, how, if, because, therefore, after, although, etc.

All transition words and phrases indicate the connection between what you are saying and what’s already been said previously.

As a writer, you will need to make appropriate use of these words and phrases to establish the relationship between sentences, particularly when the relationship between  sentences  doesn’t seem to be clear in the first place.

Combine Similar Information 

Another way to ensure the readers find your writing easy to understand is to combine similar information within the essay. By now, you might have noticed that the use of transition words and the known-new contract technique adds to the document’s word count (because both these methods repeat known information at the beginning of sentences).

So a natural way to limit the use of new words is to eliminate the need for transition words, which you can typically achieve by combining similar information into one segment in the essay.

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Paragraph Transitions

Transitioning between paragraphs will require you to place the transitions at the beginnings of the new paragraph.

Avoid using transitions at the end of the preceding paragraphs because, in ideal circumstances, you want each  paragraph of your essay  to focus on one aspect of your  essay topic . This will also allow you to combine similar information together (as we just learned above).

Transitions are forward-looking in nature, which means they give an insight into what is to follow or the topic matter that new paragraphs and sentences will incorporate. Using a transition at the start of new paragraph signals focus on the content matter of the new paragraph.

Unlike transitions between sentences that establish a connection between sentences, transitions in paragraphs focus on developing the relationship between the old and the new paragraph.

For this very reason, transitioning between paragraphs will require you to shed light on the central argument in the previous paragraph and relate it to the information provided in the present paragraph.

Here are a few things for you to consider when writing a paragraph transition;

  • Is the new paragraph continuation of a related point discussed in the previous paragraph?
  • Does the new paragraph extract or deduce some information from the preceding paragraph?
  • Does it second the argument presented in the previous paragraph or offer a counter perspective?

Also Read: How Long is an Essay in Academic Writing?

Final Thoughts!

We have learned to use transition words and phrases in this article, but occasionally you may need to write full transition sentences. This is especially true for  longer  academic writing pieces, such as a dissertation where you might not express the transitions clearly with the help of transition words and phrases.

While you want to be as concise as possible, you cannot compromise the clarity of transitions.

So if you are unable to transition using words and phrases with clarity, it will make sense to write a full transition sentence. Similarly, if a transition sentence doesn’t do the job, you can consider writing a transition paragraph.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are transition words and examples.

Transition words are phrases that link ideas, enhancing the flow of writing. Examples:

  • Addition : Furthermore, in addition, moreover.
  • Contrast : However, on the other hand, yet.
  • Cause-Effect : Therefore, as a result, consequently.
  • Comparison : Similarly, likewise, in the same way.
  • Conclusion : In conclusion, to sum up, ultimately.
  • Time : Meanwhile, subsequently, eventually. These words guide readers through your text, making it coherent and organised.

You May Also Like

In this article, we are sharing multiple patterns of template for essays along with some useful tips to make the structure of your essay strong and clear.

The length of an academic essay depends on your level and the nature of subject. If you are unsure how long is an essay then this article will guide you.

A good essay introduction will set the tone for succeeding parts. Unsure about how to write an essay introduction? This guide will help you to get going.

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Transitional Words

Transitional words are like bridges between parts of your essay. They are cues that help the reader interpret your ideas. Transitional words or phrases help carry your thoughts forward from one sentence to another and one paragraph to another. Finally, transitional words link sentences and paragraphs together smoothly so that there are no abrupt jumps or breaks between ideas.

Here is a list of common transitional words and the categories to which they belong.

and, again, and then, besides, equally important, finally, further, furthermore, nor, too, next, lastly, what's more, moreover, in addition, first (second, etc.)

To Compare:

whereas, but, yet, on the other hand, however, nevertheless, on the contrary, by comparison, where, compared to, up against, balanced against, vis a vis, but, although, conversely, meanwhile, after all, in contrast, although this may be true

because, for, since, for the same reason, obviously, evidently, furthermore, moreover, besides, indeed, in fact, in addition, in any case, that is

To Show Exception:

yet, still, however, nevertheless, in spite of, despite, of course, once in a while, sometimes

To Show Time:

immediately, thereafter, soon, after a few hours, finally, then, later, previously, formerly, first (second, etc.), next, and then

in brief, as I have said, as I have noted, as has been noted

To Emphasize:

definitely, extremely, obviously, in fact, indeed, in any case, absolutely, positively, naturally, surprisingly, always, forever, perennially, eternally, never, emphatically, unquestionably, without a doubt, certainly, undeniably, without reservation

To Show Sequence:

first, second, third, and so forth, next, then, following this, at this time, now, at this point, after, afterward, subsequently, finally, consequently, previously, before this, simultaneously, concurrently, thus, therefore, hence, next, and then, soon

To Give an Example:

for example, for instance, in this case, in another case, on this occasion, in this situation, take the case of, to demonstrate, to illustrate, as an illustration

To Summarize or Conclude:

in brief, on the whole, summing up, to conclude, in conclusion, as I have shown, as I have said, hence, therefore, accordingly, thus, as a result, consequently

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Essay Writing Guide

Transition Words For Essays

Last updated on: Jun 13, 2023

220 Best Transition Words for Essays

By: Nova A.

15 min read

Reviewed By: Jacklyn H.

Published on: Jul 9, 2019

Transition Words for Essays

Writing essays can be hard, and making sure your transitions are smooth is even harder. 

You've probably heard that good essays need good transitions, but what are they? How do you use them in your writing? Also, your essays are assessed according to particular criteria and it is your responsibility to ensure that it is being met.

But don't worry, we are here to help. This blog will give you transition words for essays, including how to choose the right ones and where to place them for maximum impact. Essay writing is a technical process that requires much more effort than simply pouring your thoughts on paper.

If you are new to the concept of transition words and phrases, deep dive into this article in order to find out the secret to improving your essays.

Transition Words for Essays

On this Page

What Are Transition Words 

Transition words are essential elements in essay writing that create smooth transitions between ideas. 

Think of a transition as a conjunction or a joining word. It helps create strong relationships between ideas, paragraphs, or sentences and assists the readers to understand the word phrases and sentences easily.

As writers, our goal is to communicate our thoughts and ideas in the most clear and logical manner. Especially when presenting complex ideas, we must ensure that they are being conveyed in the most understandable way.

To ensure that your paper is easy to understand, you can work on the sequencing of ideas. Break down your ideas into different sentences and paragraphs then use a transition word or phrase to guide them through these ideas.

Why Should You Use Transitions

The purpose of transition words goes beyond just connectivity. They create a cohesive narrative , allowing your ideas to flow seamlessly from one point to another. These words and phrases act as signposts and indicate relationships. 

These relations could include:

  • Cause and Effect
  • Comparison and Contrast
  • Addition and Emphasis
  • Sequence and Order
  • Illustration and Example
  • Concession and Contradiction
  • Summary and Conclusion

They form a bridge and tie sentences together, creating a logical connection. In addition to tying the entire paper together, they help demonstrate the writer’s agreement, disagreement, conclusion, or contrast.

However, keep in mind that just using or including transitional words isn’t enough to highlight relationships between ideas. The content of your paragraphs must support the relationship as well. So, you should avoid overusing them in a paper.

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Types of Transitions

Transitions in essays can be classified into different types based on the relationships they indicate between ideas. Each type serves a specific purpose in guiding readers through your arguments. 

Let's explore some common types of transitions and their examples:

Additive Transitions 

These transitions are used to add information or ideas. They help you expand on your points or provide additional supporting evidence. Examples:

  • In addition
  • Furthermore
  • Additionally
  • Not only... but also
  • Coupled with

Adversative Transitions

Adversative transitions show contrast or contradiction between ideas. They are used to present opposing viewpoints or highlight differences. Examples:

  • Nevertheless
  • On the other hand
  • In contrast

Causal Transitions

Causal transitions explain cause-and-effect relationships. They help you establish the reasons behind certain outcomes or actions. Examples:

  • As a result
  • Consequently
  • Resulting in
  • For this reason

Sequential Transitions

Sequential transitions indicate the order or sequence of events or ideas. They help you present your thoughts in a logical and organized manner. Examples: 

  • Subsequently
  • In the meantime
  • Simultaneously

Comparative Transitions

Comparative transitions highlight similarities or comparisons between ideas. They help you draw connections and illustrate relationships. Here are some transition words for essays examples: 

  • In the same way
  • Compared to
  • In comparison
  • Correspondingly
  • By the same token
  • Equally important
  • Analogous to

Getting started on your essay? Check out this insightful read on essay writing to make sure you ace it!

List of Good Transition Words for Essays

As mentioned above, there are different categories of transitions that serve a unique purpose. Understanding these different types will help you pick the most suitable word or phrase to communicate your message.

Here we have categorized the best transition words for essays so you can use them appropriately!

Transition Words for Argumentative Essays

In argumentative essays , the effective use of transition words is essential for presenting a well-structured and coherent argument. 

Transition Words for Compare and Contrast Essays

In compare and contrast essays , transition words play a crucial role in highlighting the similarities and differences between the subjects being compared. 

Here are a few transition words that are particularly useful in compare and contrast essays:

Transition Words for Cause and Effect Essays

In cause and effect essays , transition words help illustrate the relationships between causes and their corresponding effects. 

Here are a few transition words that are particularly useful in cause-and-effect essays:

Transition Words for Different Parts of Essays

Transition words are valuable tools that can be used throughout different parts of an essay to create a smooth and coherent flow. By understanding the appropriate transition words for each section, you can logically connect your ideas. 

Introduction Transition Words for Essays

Introductions are one of the most impactful parts of the essay. It's important that it connects logically with the rest of the essay. To do this, you can utilize different transition words for essays to start. Here are some starting transition words for essays:

Transition Words for Essays Body Paragraph

In an essay, body paragraphs play a crucial role in presenting and developing your ideas. To ensure a logical flow within each body paragraph, the strategic use of transition words is essential.

Here are lists of transitions for essays for different body paragraphs:

Transition Words for Essays for First Body Paragraph

Here is a list of transition words that you can use for the first body paragraph of an essay:

Transition Words for Essays Second Body Paragraph

Here is a list of transition words for the second body paragraph of an essay:

Transition Words for Essays Third Body Paragraph

Transition words for essays last body paragraph, transition words for essays conclusion .

Here is a list of ending transition words for essays:

Do’s and Don’ts of Using Essay Transitions

When it comes to using transitions in your essay, there are certain do's and don'ts that can help you effectively enhance the flow of your writing. Here are some key guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Add transitions only when introducing new ideas.
  • Go through the paper to make sure they make sense.
  • Start by creating an outline, so you know what ideas to share and how.
  • Use different transitions for each idea.
  • Don’t overuse them.
  • Don’t keep adding transitions in the same paragraph.
  • Don’t completely rely on transitions to signal relationships.
  • Don’t incorporate it into your content without understanding its usage.

By now, you have probably understood how transition words can save you from disjointed and directionless paragraphs. They are the missing piece that indicates how ideas are related to one another.

If you are still unable to distinguish transitions to open or conclude your essays, don’t be upset - these things require time and practice.

If you are looking for the perfect essay-writing service, get in touch with the expert writers at 5StarEssays.com. We will include the right transitions according to the type of paper, ensuring a coherent flow of ideas.

Just say ‘ write my essay ’ now and let our essay writer create quality content at the most pocket-friendly rates available.

Nova A.

As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.

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transition in essay

How to Use Transitions in an Essay – Tutorial with Examples

One of your main tasks in writing an essay is to help the reader make connections and understand your writing well. Transitions allow you to do that. They help ensure that the reading process flows smoothly. 

I’m Tutor Phil, and in this tutorial I’ll show you how to use transitions effectively in your essays and research papers.

Four Rules of Using Transitions in Academic Writing

Rule 1. structure your essay well.

If your essay has a clear structure, this will minimize the need for transitions. Remember – you shouldn’t really need a lot of transitional words and phrases in your essay. 

Use transitions in places where they are most likely to help the reader make the necessary connection and move along. And if your flow of ideas in the essay is clear, that alone is the single most important quality of your writing.

So, if you’re new to essay writing, I highly recommend my tutorial on essay writing for beginners .

Rule 2. Trust the reader

If you trust yourself to write a well-structured essay, then you should trust the reader to understand what you have written. 

Don’t use transitions to summarize what you just wrote.  

When you pause to remind the reader what you just stated – whether in a section or a paragraph – this makes them feel that you’re wasting their time. Nobody likes stuff repeated to them over and over.

Besides, this signals a lack of trust both in the writer and the reader. Instead, use transitions only to move the reader forward in your essay. I’ll show you exactly how.

Rule 3. Proceed from general to specific

Going from general to specific is a mode in which you should be writing your essay. And transitions should help you accomplish this.

Let’s leave it at that for now because the examples in this tutorial will illustrate this perfectly. But for now just keep in mind that transitions are a great way to help you move from general to specific in your essay. 

Rule 4. Use transitions on multiple levels

Transitions can be used to move into a section, a paragraph, or a sentence. When transitioning into a section or a paragraph, use the transition within the lead sentence. 

If you’re not familiar with lead sentences or need to brush them up, here is my short and sweet tutorial on lead sentences .

Transitions also come in handy when introducing or leading into a smaller bit of writing, such as a sentence or part of a paragraph. 

10 Categories of Transitions with Examples

1. transitions that indicate similarity.

These are transitions that allow you to introduce material that is similar to what came before. You can use these transitions to add material to your essay. 

These are such words and phrases as:

  • By the same token

“Mozart and Haydn wrote music primarily for the emerging upper middle class. Similarly, Beethoven adhered to the musical tastes of this sliver of the society early in his career.”

2. Contrary Transitions 

These are important and powerful transitions that tell the reader that something opposite to what they just read is coming. These include such words and phrases as:

  • Nevertheless
  • Notwithstanding
  • Despite (or “In spite of”)
  • On the other hand

“Mozart and Haydn wrote music primarily for the upper middle class and nobility. Beethoven did the same because his sustenance depended on it. However, his creative spirit yearned to write highly evolved and complex music aimed at the connoisseur.”

Another Version (with a different transition)

“Mozart and Haydn wrote music primarily for the upper middle class and nobility. Conversely, Beethoven yearned to write highly evolved and complex music aimed at the connoisseur.”

The Counterargument

One of the ways transitions in this category can be used is to expand your essay while adding validity to your argument. 

Let’s say you’re making an argument that Beethoven was an amazingly innovative composer. And you have provided some evidence to support this claim. 

Here is how you can use a counterargument to add content and make your point even stronger. You can suggest that others may disagree with your point. But they miss the mark for one or more important reasons. 

For example:

“ Some contemporary critics of Beethoven argued that his music was needlessly complex and failed to please much of the public. However , they were quite shortsighted. Beethoven’s music continues to please audiences hundreds of years later while the names of his critics are lost in the shuffle of history.”

You can use the counterargument technique to add a couple of juicy paragraphs to your essay. Here’s a video I created which will show you how:

3. Transitions of Order and Sequence

These are very useful when enumerating or listing items. These are such words as:

A great place to use these transitions is in the thesis statement.

“Going to college presents great advantages. First, college graduates earn more than those without a degree. Second, higher education enriches a person’s inner world. Finally, college is a great way to start friendships that will last a lifetime.”

4. Time Transitions

These words and phrases specify or change the time in which the reader finds herself. Here are some of them:

  • In the meantime
  • Subsequently

“Two of the men were on the lookout. Meanwhile, the third and fourth were busy cleaning out the store.”

5. Place Transitions

These transitions indicate location or change of location:

  • In front of 

“In front of the school stood a hot dog stand, students’ favorite food spot.”

6. Transitions into Examples/Specificity

These very important transitions indicate that a specific piece of information is about to support a more general statement that just came before. These are such words and phrases as:

  • For example
  • For instance
  • To illustrate
  • Specifically
  • To be more specific

“Some kids love school. For example, my son is always excited to go to school because he loves to socialize and to learn.”

“Some subjects are crucial to students’ intellectual development. To be more specific, they cultivate such skills and abilities as critical thinking, decision making, and argumentation.”

7. Transitions of Emphasis or Focus

Use these transitions sparingly because they are often unnecessary. These are such words and phrases as:

  • Importantly

“Indeed, Beethoven was an innovative composer.”

“Naturally, Beethoven’s patrons adored him.”

8. Transitions of Cause and Effect

These are very important transitions that I often call Power Words. ( Here is my article on Power Words where you can learn more about them .)

  • Consequently

“Mozart wrote some of the most original music with catchy melodies. In effect, he quickly gained the favor of the Viennese.”

9. Transitions Indicating Additional Material 

Use these transitions when you want to add a new category or kind of material to support an argument. These words and phrases include:

  • Furthermore
  • In addition

“The nobles of Vienna adored Mozart for his musical genius and wit. Besides, he knew how to please them by writing music for soirees and social events that were all the rage at the time.”

10. Concluding Transitions

These transitions allow you to signal the coming of the final section, paragraph, or sentence. Definitely use them in the beginning of a conclusion paragraph. These are such words and phrases as:

  • To conclude
  • In conclusion
  • In the final analysis

“In the final analysis, both Mozart and Beethoven enjoyed great success and formidable challenges as composers in their lifetimes.”

Hope this was helpful ( source ). Now go ahead and make these transitions a working part of your writing skills.

Tutor Phil is an e-learning professional who helps adult learners finish their degrees by teaching them academic writing skills.

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How To Write An Essay

Transition Words For Essays

Barbara P

Transition Words for Essays - An Ultimate List

12 min read

Published on: Jan 1, 2021

Last updated on: Jul 21, 2023

transition words for essays

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Are you tired of reading essays that feel disjointed and difficult to follow? Do you find yourself struggling to connect your ideas smoothly and effectively? 

If so, then you're in luck, because today we're going to take a closer look at the magic of transition words.

In this blog, we'll cover different types of transition words and their precise usage, and how they can elevate your writing. By the end, you'll have the tools to captivate your readers and leave a lasting impression. 

Let's dive in!

What are Transition Words?

Transition words are linking words used to connect sentences and ideas in the content. They help the audience move from one idea to another, building a coherent relationship within the document.

When  writing an essay , it is essential to make sure that the information provided is readable and understandable by the readers. For this purpose, explicit language, transition words, and phrases are used.

Moreover, these words set a base for the idea that is going to be discussed next.

Transition words can either make or break the entire essay. It is mandatory to keep in view that not every sentence in your essay needs a transitional phrase. 

Types of Transitions

Generally, there are three types of transitions that are used while drafting a piece of document. Depending on the length, complexity, and kind of text, transitions can take the following form:

  • Transition Between Sections - When your document is lengthy, transition paragraphs are used to summarize a particular section for the readers. In addition to this, it also links the information that is to be shared next.

For example:

"In the following section..." "Moving on to..." "Now, let's explore..." "Turning our attention to..." "To delve deeper, we will now examine..."

  • Transition Between Paragraphs -  The transition between paragraphs is when you logically connect the two paragraphs. This connection summarizes the paragraph’s primary concern and links it to the next idea of the other paragraph.

"Furthermore..." "On the other hand..." "Similarly..." "In contrast..." "Moreover..." "Additionally..." "In addition to..." "Conversely..." "Likewise..." "In a similar vein...

  • Transition Within Paragraphs -  They act as cues for the readers to prepare them for what is coming next. They are usually single words or small phrases.

"For instance..." "In particular..." "To illustrate..." "Additionally..." "Moreover..." "Furthermore..." "On the contrary..." "However..." "In contrast..." "In other words..."

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Types of Transition Words

Here's a table showcasing different types of transition words and their corresponding functions:

Transition Words For Different Types of Essays

Transitional words depend on the relationship you want to convey to the audience about the ideas and paragraphs. Below is a list of words and phrases that can be used to link different sentences, paragraphs, and sections.

Identify which transition expression you want to share for your logical relationship.

Transition Words for Argumentative Essay

  • In the same way
  • Equally important
  • Furthermore
  • Comparatively
  • Additionally
  • In addition
  • Not only...but also

Transition Words for Compare and Contrast Essay

  • In contrast
  • Different from
  • On the contrary
  • In spite of

Transition Words for Informative Essay

  • Provided that
  • With this in mind
  • For the purpose of
  • In the hope that
  • In order to
  • With this intention

Transition Words for College Essays

  • In other words
  • By all means
  • To demonstrate
  • As in illustration
  • To put it another way

Transition Words for Cause and Effect Essay

  • As a result
  • For this reason
  • Because the
  • Under those circumstances
  • Accordingly
  • Consequently

Transition Words for Expository Essay 

  • Not long after that
  • Specifically
  • To begin with
  • Without doubt
  • Undoubtedly
  • Due to circumstances
  • In similar fashion

Transition Words for Different Parts of Essay

Here's a table listing transition words for different parts of an essay:

How Transitions work

Transitions work by creating a bridge between ideas, sentences, paragraphs, or sections in your essay. They help to establish logical connections and guide the reader through the flow of your writing. 

Here's how transitions work:

  • Coherence : Transitions create smooth connections between ideas, ensuring a coherent flow in your writing.
  • Signal Relationships: Transitions clarify how ideas are related, such as cause and effect, comparison, contrast, or sequence.
  • Guide the Reader: It acts as signpost, guiding readers through your essay and indicating the direction of your thoughts.
  • Enhance Clarity: Transitions improve clarity by organizing ideas and helping readers understand logical progression.
  • Improve Flow: It ensures a seamless flow between sentences, paragraphs, and sections, preventing choppiness.
  • Emphasize Key Points: Transitions can be used strategically to highlight important ideas and make them more impactful.

Let's consider an example:

In the above example, transitions like " one such source " connect the idea of solar power to renewable energy sources. " Similarly " then introduces the concept of wind power, creating a logical progression. These transitions help readers follow the flow of ideas and understand the relationships between different energy sources.

Tips to Use Transition Words in your Essay

Here are some tips to effectively use transition words in your essay:

  • Understand the Purpose: Familiarize yourself with the different types and functions of transition words, phrases, or sentences. Recognize how they connect ideas, provide structure, and indicate relationships between different parts of your essay.
  • Plan your Essay Structure: Before you start writing, outline the main sections, paragraphs, and points you want to cover. Consider where transition words can be used to improve the flow and coherence of your essay.
  • Use Transition Words Appropriately: Ensure that the transition word you choose accurately reflects the relationship between ideas. Don't force a transition where it doesn't fit naturally.
  • Vary Transition Words: Avoid repetitive or excessive use of the same transition word throughout your essay. Use a variety of transition words to maintain reader interest and enhance overall readability.
  • Pay Attention to Placement: Place transition words at the beginning, middle, or end of sentences, depending on the desired effect. Consider the logical flow of your ideas and choose the appropriate placement for each transition word.
  • Use Transitional Phrases: Instead of using single transition words, consider incorporating transitional phrases or clauses. These can provide more context and clarity, strengthening the connection between ideas.
  • Revise and Edit: After completing your essay, review it for the effectiveness and smoothness of transitions. Ensure that they serve their purpose in guiding the reader and enhancing the overall coherence of your writing.
  • Seek Feedback: Share your essay with others and ask for feedback, specifically on the use of transition words. Others' perspectives can help you identify any areas that need improvement or where transitions could be strengthened.

To sum it up! While mastering transition words may require time and practice, it is a skill well worth developing. These words are crucial for creating coherence and flow in your essays. Throughout this blog, we have explored various transition words and phrases that can greatly enhance your writing.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so don't hesitate to apply these newfound skills in your future essays. You can utilize an AI essay writer to enhance and refine your writing skills.

If you still need assistance or have further inquiries, our team at CollegeEssay.org is available to provide professional essay writing service . 

Contact us today, and let us be a part of your journey toward academic excellence!

Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.

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Definition and Examples of a Transition in Composition

Tuomas Lehtinen / Getty Images

  • An Introduction to Punctuation
  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

In English grammar, a transition is a connection (a word, phrase, clause, sentence, or entire paragraph ) between two parts of a piece of writing, contributing to cohesion .

Transitional devices include pronouns , repetition , and transitional expressions , all of which are illustrated below.

Pronunciation: trans-ZISH-en

Etymology From the Latin, "to go across"

Examples and Observations

Example:  At first  a toy,  then  a mode of transportation for the rich, the automobile was designed as man's mechanical servant.  Later  it became part of the pattern of living.

Here are some examples and insights from other writers:

  • "A transition should be short, direct, and almost invisible." Gary Provost, Beyond Style: Mastering the Finer Points of Writing . Writer's Digest Books, 1988)
  • "A transition is anything that links one sentence—or paragraph—to another. Nearly every sentence, therefore, is transitional. (In that sentence, for example, the linking or transitional words are sentence, therefore, and transitional .) Coherent writing , I suggest, is a constant process of transitioning." (Bill Stott, Write to the Point: And Feel Better About Your Writing , 2nd ed. Columbia University Press, 1991)

Repetition and Transitions 

In this example, transitions are repeated in the prose:

  • "The way I write is who I am, or have become, yet this is a case in which I wish I had instead of words and their rhythms a cutting room, equipped with an Avid, a digital editing system on which I could touch a key and collapse the sequence of time, show you simultaneously all the frames of memory that come to me now, let you pick the takes, the marginally different expressions, the variant readings of the same lines. This is a case in which I need more than words to find the meaning. This is a case in which I need whatever it is I think or believe to be penetrable, if only for myself." (Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking , 2006)

Pronouns and Repeated Sentence Structures

  • "Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death. We misconstrue the nature of even those few days or weeks. We might expect if the death is sudden to feel shock. We do not expect this shock to be obliterative, dislocating to both body and mind. We might expect that we will be prostrate, inconsolable, crazy with loss. We do not expect to be literally crazy, cool customers who believe that their husband is about to return." (Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking , 2006)
  • "When you find yourself having difficulty moving from one section of an article to the next, the problem might be due to the fact that you are leaving out information. Rather than trying to force an awkward transition , take another look at what you have written and ask yourself what you need to explain in order to move on to your next section." (Gary Provost, 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing . Mentor, 1972)

Tips on Using Transitions

  • "After you have developed your essay into something like its final shape, you will want to pay careful attention to your transitions . Moving from paragraph to paragraph, from idea to idea, you will want to use transitions that are very clear—you should leave no doubt in your reader's mind how you are getting from one idea to another. Yet your transitions should not be hard and monotonous: though your essay will be so well-organized you may easily use such indications of transitions as 'one,' 'two,' 'three' or 'first,' 'second,' and 'third,' such words have the connotation of the scholarly or technical article and are usually to be avoided, or at least supplemented or varied, in the formal composition . Use 'one,' 'two,' 'first,' 'second,' if you wish, in certain areas of your essay, but also manage to use prepositional phrases and conjunctive adverbs and subordinate clauses and brief transitional paragraphs to achieve your momentum and continuity. Clarity and variety together are what you want." (Winston Weathers and Otis Winchester, The New Strategy of Style . McGraw-Hill, 1978)

Space Breaks as Transitions

  • " Transitions are usually not that interesting. I use space breaks instead, and a lot of them. A space break makes a clean segue whereas some segues you try to write sound convenient, contrived. The white space sets off, underscores, the writing presented, and you have to be sure it deserves to be highlighted this way. If used honestly and not as a gimmick, these spaces can signify the way the mind really works, noting moments and assembling them in such a way that a kind of logic or pattern comes forward, until the accretion of moments forms a whole experience, observation, state of being. The connective tissue of a story is often the white space, which is not empty. There’s nothing new here, but what you don’t say can be as important as what you do say." (Amy Hempel, interviewed by Paul Winner. The Paris Review , Summer 2003)
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Virginia Tech Supplemental Essays 2023-24

August 28, 2023

Unlike many other public institutions with notable strengths in the areas of business, computer science, and engineering, Virginia Tech’s acceptance rate does not yet strike fear into the hearts of prospective applicants (although it has fallen from 70% to 56% in the past three years). However, it is important for wannabe Hokies to be aware that the admissions process at this university is becoming highly selective. This is particularly true for the aforementioned popular majors. Thus, prospective Virginia Tech students need to take advantage of every component of the application in order to stand out. This includes the Virginia Tech supplemental essays.

 (Want to learn more about How to Get Into Virginia Tech? Visit our blog entitled:  How to Get Into Virginia Tech: Admissions Data and Strategies  for all of the most recent admissions data as well as tips for gaining acceptance.)

Virginia Tech’s motto “Ut Prosim” is Latin for “That I May Serve.” The school requires all undergraduates to complete the “Ut Prosim Profile” which consists of four service-related essay prompts. These essays are “very important” to the admissions committee. Therefore, it is vital that all Tech applicants dedicate a significant amount of time to these short answer questions.

Below are Virginia Tech’s supplemental prompts for the 2023-24 admissions cycle along with our advice for composing winning essays.

2023-2024 University of Virginia Tech Essay Questions

Virginia Tech’s motto is “Ut Prosim” which means ‘That I May Serve.’ Share how you contribute to a community that is important to you. How long have you been involved? What have you learned and how would you like to share that with others at Virginia Tech? (120 words)

Pretty much everyone applying to Virginia Tech is deeply involved in some semblance of a “community.” The term “community” can have many meanings. In this instance, it could be an ethnic, religious, or neighborhood community or a group of individuals who gather for a club, sport, or service project. You could discuss how you have engaged with your high school local/community and what you have learned from interacting with people of a different ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual identity, etc. Or, perhaps you are the captain of a team, the editor-in-chief of your school paper, the president of a club, or simply a valuable contributing member. Regardless of whether you are a leading man/woman or a still-essential bit player, make sure that you use your writing ability to  show  the admissions officer what type of community member you are rather than merely  telling  them.

Whatever you choose, be sure to draw on past evidence of your commitment to being a positive force in your community and speculate how that is likely to manifest on Virginia Tech’s campus. Research and cite  Virginia Tech student-run organizations  or local nonprofit groups. The admissions committee wants to understand precisely how you will contribute to their campus community of 30,000+ undergrads. Drawing the link between your past efforts and future aims is critical here.

For example, if you’ve done work with Habitat for Humanity throughout your teens, it will be most impactful if you express your commitment to joining Tech’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity in the future.

Virginia Tech Supplemental Essays (Continued)

Virginia Tech’s Principles of Community supports access and inclusion by affirming the dignity and value of every person, respecting differences, promoting mutual understanding and open expression, and strives to eliminate bias and discrimination. Reflect on a time when you were not able or allowed to express a different or diverse position or opinion (or you witnessed another person or group experience the same situation)? How did you respond or wish you would have responded? Did your viewpoint change in any way after this experience? (120 words)

The U.S. presently finds itself in an extreme state of polarization. There seems to be little agreement even as to what constitutes “truth” or “facts” Within this divided world, it can be hard for individuals with competing viewpoints to engage in civil and productive dialogue. Here, Virginia Tech is giving you the chance to reflect on a time when your voice may have been silenced (or when you observed someone else’s voice being silenced). What was the outcome? How do you feel about your reaction, and what did you learn from it? This is your opportunity to show that you are an open-minded, intellectually curious, self-aware young person. One key thing to remember when addressing this prompt is that you don’t have to be the hero of the anecdote. In fact, you may be one who learned to expand their thinking.

Share a time when you were most proud of yourself either as a role model or when you displayed your leadership. What specific skills did you contribute to the experience? How did others rely on you for guidance? What did you learn about yourself during this time? (120 words)

Leadership is an admirable quality, but it can manifest in many different forms. This essay is not only for those who captained a varsity team to a state title, started a charitable organization, or made sweeping changes as student body president. Teamwork and collaboration are also valued leadership skills both in academia and in the workplace, and students with strong interpersonal skills and a high EQ can be an asset to any university. Think beyond the title that you may have held and more about the action(s) of which you are most proud.

To sum up, this essay is about leadership, broadly defined. You can chronicle anything from mentoring others on your debate team to a simple instance of conflict resolution within your peer group. Along the way, just make sure that you provide answers to each question embedded in the prompt. This includes what you learned about yourself through this role modeling/leadership moment.

Describe a goal that you have set and the steps you will take to achieve it. What made you set this goal for yourself? What is your timeline to achieve this goal? Who do you seek encouragement or guidance from as you work on this goal? (120 words)

Through this prompt, Virginia Tech wants to know more about your goal-setting, work ethic, and level of executive functioning. Malcolm Gladwell popularized the idea that becoming a master or expert at anything takes 10,000 hours of practice. Consider talking about the grind and sacrifice it will take you to become great at a given skill. Further, explain how you see that skill becoming even more finely tuned/developed over time. If this goal fits into your future academic/career plans, all the better—share that too! As with the other three prompts, #4 packs in a lot of questions into a single prompt.

Ultimately, you’ll need to produce a well-edited, concise piece of writing that chronicles not only your goal, the steps you will take to achieve it, and the timeline of the steps, but also who will help you along the way. Answering the last question is key in showing that you are a mature learner who understands that you will need mentorship, assistance, and other resources along the path toward achieving your dreams.

How important are the Virginia Tech supplemental essays?

The essays are “very important” to the Virginia Tech admissions committee. This places them in the same tier of importance as the rigor of your coursework, GPA, first-generation status, geographical residence, state residency, and race/ethnicity.

Want personalized essay assistance with your Virginia Tech supplemental essays?

Lastly, if you are interested in working with one of College Transitions’ experienced and knowledgeable essay coaches as you craft your Virginia Tech supplemental essays, we encourage you to  get a quote  today.

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  23. Virginia Tech Supplemental Essays 2023-24

    Virginia Tech Supplemental Essays 2023-24. August 28, 2023. Unlike many other public institutions with notable strengths in the areas of business, computer science, and engineering, Virginia Tech's acceptance rate does not yet strike fear into the hearts of prospective applicants (although it has fallen from 70% to 56% in the past three years).